PHILADELPHIA — Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson apologized for his recent Instagram posts, in which he praised Louis Farrakhan and shared a text that included a fake Adolf Hitler quote.
Jackson’s attempt to explain and express remorse included a statement and a video, in which he said he “didn’t intend any harm or hatred,” and he disavowed any approval of Hitler.
Jackson’s apology came as the team released a statement that said the views Jackson endorsed on Instagram “have no place in our society and are not condoned or supported in any way by the organization.”
The statement indicated the team will take further action — perhaps a fine — and outlined what the team feels Jackson needs to do to atone: “ … not only apologizing, but using his platform to take action to promote unity, equality and respect.”
The statement did not mention the possibility of Jackson’s being released, but it might be inferred that management needs to be satisfied with Jackson’s response. ESPN reported that Jackson, 33, met with general manager Howie Roseman on Tuesday and had a meeting set with team owner Jeffrey Lurie.
The NFL indicated it would leave the matter in the team’s hands.
Ravens’ Jackson cancels event in Florida
Baltimore Ravens quarterback and South Florida native Lamar Jackson has canceled his annual “Funday with LJ” event this weekend in Broward County, a spokesperson for the event confirmed Tuesday to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
With strict social-distancing guidelines in place amid the coronavirus pandemic, the city of Pompano Beach, Fla., had set limits on the event’s attendance, the spokesperson said. Because of the number of people already registered for the event, Jackson decided to cancel the event rather than turn away any.
On Monday, Jackson had shared a flyer on Instagram for the two-day event, which advertised some of the activities available — flag football games, go-karts, water slides — and noted, in smaller print, that children had to sign a waiver to participate. Face masks for adults were also mandatory, according to the flyer. “NO EXCEPTION,” Jackson wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post.
Jackson’s event was scheduled to start exactly a week after Florida, a coronavirus hot spot, reported a single-day record of 11,458 cases. The state added more than 7,300 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday and set a daily record for positivity rate.
League has yet to establish virus protocols
The NFL and the NFLPA haven’t come to an agreement on all protocols for training camp and the preseason as the report date for teams draws closer.
The two sides finalized the protocols regarding team travel, media, and treatment response, and have also updated the facilities protocol to specifically address training camp based on recommendations from a joint committee of doctors, trainers and strength coaches formed by the league and players’ union.
The league sent a 42-page memo to teams last Friday outlining those proposals. But the NFL Players Association and its president, Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter, say testing and the number of preseason games remain unresolved.
“Our normal return date for training camp is quickly approaching and we are still far from back to ‘normal,’” Tretter wrote in a letter on the union’s website.
“Our main concern is player safety, both in regard to preventing the virus’ transmission as well as preventing injuries after an extended and historically unique layoff.”
Tretter reiterated that players don’t want to play any preseason games and want a 48-day training camp schedule to give them more time to prepare for the season and avoid injuries. He cited an increase in injuries following the 2011 lockout.
The league last week decided to cut the preseason schedule from four games to two and pushed back the start of exhibition play an extra week to give teams more time to prepare because the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of on-field workouts.
The league previously requested that players report to camp earlier than July 28 to give them more acclimation time for strength and conditioning because they held no formal workouts or team minicamps. But the union declined.
Browns restructure Vernon’s contract
CLEVELAND — Olivier Vernon’s status with the Browns has more certainty. So does his paycheck.
The defensive end, whose future in Cleveland seemed in doubt for months, has renegotiated his contract for next season, a person familiar with the talks told the AP.
Vernon’s days with the Browns seemed numbered as he was going to make $15.25 million — a non-guaranteed deal that was the largest current one-year contract on Cleveland’s roster — as long as he was around after training camp.
But the club reworked his deal and Vernon will earn $11 million. ESPN was first to report Vernon will get a $7 million signing bonus, $3.75 million base salary, $250,000 workout bonus and $2 million in incentives.